Chandigarh, May 8 (PTI) The Punjab government has decided to put on hold the release of Class 12 history book till the newly-constituted oversight committee examined it and decided on the way forward, an official spokesperson said today.

The spokesperson said here that following the chief minister’s decision to set up the six-member oversight committee, headed by eminent historian Prof Kirpal Singh, it was felt that it would be better for the panel to undertake a review of the book before its further release.

The Punjab School Education Board has also been directed to facilitate the committee for completing this task at the earliest.

The committee also comprises former vice chancellor Guru Nanak Dev University Prof J S Grewal, former pro-vice chancellor GNDU Prof Prithipal Singh Kapur, Emeritus Prof of History Panjab University Prof Indu Banga, besides two eminent historians to be nominated by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC).

The committee has been mandated to consider and report on the recommendations of the expert group, constituted by the Punjab School Education Board in 2014, to review the changes made in the new history syllabus prescribed for Classes 11 and 12 subsequent to the recommendations of the expert group, and to suggest corrections, if any.

The committee has been further asked to examine the contents of the text books prescribed for classes 11 and 12 and to suggest corrections for factual and other errors, if any, and to align, as maybe practicably possible, the history syllabus with that prescribed by the NCERT.

Apart from these, the committee has also been directed to exercise oversight over the syllabus and contents of text books prescribed for history for all classes in the Punjab School Education Board and to ensure that there are no factual discrepancies.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had announced the constitution of a six-member oversight committee to examine the recommendations of the 2014 panel that reviewed the history syllabus and oversee all history books in the future.

The move came in the wake of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) alleging that a major portion of Sikh and Punjab history was removed from the Class 12 curriculum.

President of SGPC Gobind Singh Longowal too had asked the Punjab government to withdraw the history text book of Class 12, saying otherwise the apex religious body of the Sikhs may plan massive agitation.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, the chief minister had criticised the opposition parties for unnecessarily politicising the issue and said his government had decided to prevent any such politicisation of history books by setting up a permanent committee to oversee the process of formulating the syllabus and ensuring error-free books on the subject.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.